Monday, September 12, 2022

Mine Head, Waterford


The magnificent lighthouse at Mine Head in the county of Waterford should really be more well known than it is. A major sea-light on the south coast of Ireland, it has the highest elevation of any of Ireland's current lighthouses - 87 meters - and in 1851, along with Ballycotton, helped to fill in a large swathe of black coast between Roches Point and Hook Head. Yet it is said that even locals are sometimes unaware of its existence, located on a largely human-free headland at the end of a tortuous route of tiny country lanes. Indeed, when last I was there in 2008, when Google Maps had never even registered in my Luddite head, I completely failed to find it, having to make do with a middle-distance view over many fields.

This time around, I was more successful. Last time I had heeded all the 'Private Property - trespassers will be disembowelled' signs but Google Maps is the God who knows everything and He led me carefully down a pot-holed road that threatened the tyres on my car at every turn. It really is a beautiful lighthouse, its broad black stripe added in the mid twentieth century and it appears in excellent condition, as do the lightkeepers' cottages. Richard Taylor, in his beautifully written but boringly titled "The Lighthouses of Ireland" says that it was a two-keeper light during the summer but a three-keeper light during the long winter nights.

Lightkeepers of yore include 
Arthur Oxford (1856) - begat a child
William Wilson PK and Charles Boyle AK - (1871) CIL pensions list
Robert Armstrong (1874-76) - marriage cert and birth cert of child
John Williams (1881-82) - gas maker - birth of children
Joseph Hammond (1881-82) - bird reports
Hugh Duggan (1885-86) - bird report and child's birth cert
Edward McCarron (1885-88) - bird reports
Francis Ryan (1885) - son's birth cert
Henry Williams (1889-91) - bird reports
Thomas Potter (1891-92) - children's birth certs
H. Kelly (1892) - bird report
Charles Hawkins PK (1897-98) - bird report and Dunvegan wreck report
John Hamilton PK (1901) - Census
Neal V. Gillespie AK (1901) - Census

From a Ballast Board Inspection report 1859

c 1905


1 comment:

  1. It is the logo for Dungarvan brewing company